Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Herefordshire is border country. Part of England since the early middle ages, it was once home primarily to Welsh speakers, an identity still apparent in many of its place names. Evidence for habitation in this region stretches right back to the Old Stone Age, although permanent markers in the landscape may have had to wait until the Early Neolithic, when several long barrows were erected here as markers of the dead. Iron Age hillforts and Roman settlement followed, although the richest period for Herefordshire’s heritage is the middle ages. As wars between England the Welsh kingdoms continued, Herefordshire became range to a wealth of castles built to cement monarchical control over the king’s often rebellious subjects. In modern times, Herefordshire remained a largely agrarian county, with little industry, allowing it to retain much of the natural beauty it still boasts today.

Archaeology & History Sites in Herefordshire

Goodrich Castle

One of England’s best preserved medieval castles, Goodrich overlooks the River Wye. The stone castle we see today was preceded by an earth and timber structure built for Godric of Mappestone shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066. Expansion followed in the 12th century, when the castle played a role in English clashes with the Welsh. During the English Civil War, the castle shifted ownership between the parliamentarians and royalists. By the 18th century it was attracting tourists as a picturesque ruin.

Hampton Court Castle

Not to be confused with Hampton Court Palace in southwest London, Hampton Court Castle today survives in largely 19th century form. The country house was first built in the 15th century for Sir Rowland Lenthall. After being purchased by John Arkwright in the early 19th century, it was remodelled in the 1830s and 1840s. The house boasts an impressive set of gardens, which include a maze, Dutch garden, kitchen garden, and a secret tunnel. The house is privately owned although open to visitors.

Museums & Art Galleries in Herefordshire

Violette Szabo Museum

Opened in June 2000, the museum tells the story of Violette Szabo. The museum was conceived by Rosemary Rigby MBE, Violette’s aunt. Szabo was the first woman to be awarded the George Cross for her service during the Second World War. She was one of the Special Operations Executive agents, conducting covert missions behind enemy line. Szabo was captured during one of these operations and was sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, where she and other SEO agents died. Entrance is free, but donations are gratefully received.